Sunday, December 27, 2009

Day 1: Monday, 08-17-09

Lakes / Rivers Traveled:

Pashkokogan Lake

East Pashkokogan Lake
Greenbush Lake

Travel Time: 7:53

Distance: 21 miles / 33.8 km

I slept pretty good last night. I woke to the sounds of the Beavers flying at 06:21 am. Two beavers took off, then I heard the distinct sound of the Otter. When I got up out of bed and walked into the common area there was no one else up. I went to my Suburban and grabbed a protein drink and a plum. When I walked back inside Brenda was up putting out the continental breakfast. The coffee was ready.

The family of four from Toronto got up and had breakfast. Before Dave and I left from Mattice Lake we took some photos of the family then Brenda took pictures of all of us together. The temperature was in the 50’s with blue skies.

We left the B & B at 08:30 am. When we got to Mattice Lake we took care of all the paperwork, then paid our money for the flight; camping fees on crown land, Albany Provincial Park and Wabakimi Provincial Park land; fishing license and truck shuttle. After the paperwork was done I grabbed one pack and my pelican case with camera gear and placed it near the dock. I went back to my Suburban to move it where it would be parked for the next three weeks.

I was up at my Suburban organizing the last of my gear and making sure I had everything. I carried my second pack down to the other one. My pack was there, but my bright orange pelican case was missing. I couldn’t believe someone could have mistakingly took my pelican case with my camera gear. We were close to leaving and the last thing I wanted to do was leave without my camera. I asked some others who were standing around if they saw anyone take it. I asked Renita, who took over Yolanda’s position, if she had seen it. I followed her inside to talk to Annette Elliott who said she told Dave to take our gear to the end of the dock. Annette carried my pelican case to the end of the dock where we could place our packs. When I looked at the end of the dock there it was. What a relief!

Henry, the pilot of the Beaver, touched down at 10:08 am to prepare for our flight. Henry and the other helper, I never got his name, tied the canoe to the struts. While this was going on I talked to Tom Hurtte from Indiana.

We were finally going to be flying to Pashkokogan Lake shortly. At 10:36 am we were on our way. This was Henry’s first year at Mattice Lake. Dave showed him on the map where we were going since Henry hadn’t been there before and didn’t know where it was located.

The beaver wasn’t as smooth as the otter with the canoe tied to the struts.

While flying in a NW direction outside the park I could see all the logging that has taken place with numerous logging roads. When we got to Pashkokogan Lake Henry made a big circle before dropping down and landing on the lake at 11:22 am. He told us it was 63 nautical miles from Mattice Lake. (UTM # 1) (15U 0681239 5646755)

The wind was beginning to build and it sure was a good thing we left when we did. Henry got out of the beaver first and untied the canoe. We then got out and we kept the canoe next to the float while we loaded the canoe. Henry wished us good luck just before we paddled away from the beaver so he could get back into the air. I took a GPS reading where we started from.

We paddled to land where we secured the packs into the canoe. We noticed that the water level was up significantly. The water level was up into the trees on shore. We paddled pretty much our intended route on Pashkokogan Lake along the south shore. This is a big lake. The wind was kicking up the waves and they were piling up on the east end of the lake where we were looking for our first portage. We were surfing the 2 foot waves going to the east shore, but then we needed to follow the shore to the north while looking for the portage. Now the waves were hitting us broadside.

We missed the portage the first time. We paddled almost to the end of the bay along the east shore just so we could rule out that we didn’t go far enough. When we came back down we found the portage tucked underneath the shrubs. The actual portage was under water at the start for about 40 meters. We dragged the canoe up to the point where we couldn’t drag it anymore then we unloaded the canoe. I was going to take another GPS reading here, but I never did since we were in the bush aways. We portage the 150 meter portage where I took a GPS reading (UTM # 2) at the put-in on East Pashkokogan Lake. This portage was very wet, under water in many places, lots of mosquitos, but it was flat.

We ate lunch before moving on. We had peanut butter, pita bread, gorp and a energy bar.

The wind on East Pashkokogan didn’t bother us since it was coming out of the west.

We made it to our second portage. This was the “boardwalk” portage. There were logs that were placed lengthwise and crosswise. This was probably used to drag boats across it. The portage was under water at the beginning. The middle section of the portage had leveled rocks, mud and roots.

Once we got across this portage we were now on Greenbush Lake. Another big lake. Once we got to the main body of water we hugged the north shore. While traveling this shore we came across a shore lunch site that I marked on my topo map. We also saw in another area where an outfitter had a tent camp behind one of the islands. This was about 5 km from the beginning of the main body of water. Dave was told there were a lot of campsites on this lake. Well, there wasn’t any on the side we travelled and there wasn’t anything obvious when looking at the surrounding areas of the lake. We probably couldn’t have safely crossed the lake anyways with the size of the waves.

It was 07:03 pm when Dave thought he spotted a potential area to camp on a larger island, but after he walked over all the deadfall there wasn’t any good areas for one tent let alone two.

We checked another spot on a high outcropping on a point. At one time this was an excellent campsite, but now there are many deadfalls taking up most of all the good sites for tents. It’s pretty limited now, but it’ll work for us. (UTM # 3). There hadn’t been any recent activity. Enough room for two 2-man tents (2 x 2).

Dark clouds have been following us for most of the day so we put up our tents right away. It began to sprinkle while putting them up, but the real dark clouds were moving off to the west.

Dave found some more rocks and added them to an old fire ring to cook over. We had plenty of wood, but it was all very wet. It was hard to light the fire even harder to keep it lit. The other bad thing was it took a long time to cook dinner that consisted of steaks, mushrooms and coffee.

I’m in my tent at 10:05 pm. This was a long day. I’m too tired and it’s too dark to write in my journal tonight.

No comments:

Post a Comment